Friends and family of 25 year old Matt Anderson gathered around a large screen television at Flattery's Irish Pub in West Seneca Friday night. They are here to watch the opening ceremony of this year's London Olympics. They are hoping to see Anderson, an outside hitter on the men's volleyball team. "Everybody that you look around here...is connected some how. There's hugs, smiles and a lot of tears will be shed tonight too. It's an amazing thing," Patrice Ferraro, Matt Anderson's aunt said.
Earlier in the day, Town of West Seneca officials held a ceremony declaring it Matt Anderson Day in the town. "It's really so very exciting. This day is truly about somebody who worked very very hard and families that made sacrifices to make sure the things happened . Obviously he touched so many people throughout the years," said Town Supervisor Shelia Meegan.
As the West Seneca West High School Marching Band playing in the background...the town raised an Olympic flag to mark the start of the games. Dozens turned out for the event that also included several proclamations for Anderson's family. "This was just wonderful. I don't know what else to say, but I am very very proud of him. He still is my baby and I can call him that," Nancy Anderson, Matt's mother said.
Anderson graduated from West Seneca West High School in 2005. He is the youngest player on the Olympic squad and he's also the youngest of five children. Years of practice and determination have earned him a chance to compete for gold over the next few weeks. A captain on his high school volleyball team, he helped lead the squad to a perfect 17 win season in his senior year. The U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team will play its first match Sunday.